Catapult Physics; Forces, and Energy
Project
Beginner
3 Hours
Overview
For Educators
Overview
Summary
In this project, you will have a chance to explore the physics involved in a catapult launch. Lessons on forces and energy will guide your exploration and a final challenge will test your knowledge. You will be manipulating multiple variables in the engine itself to produce changes in velocity, acceleration, distance and more!

This project is powered by Enable Education. You can find a link to the Enable Education website in the Project Materials to the right.
Objective
At the end of this project, you will be able to:
  • Adjust the mass of the cannonball being launched from a catapult.
  • Adjust the force applied to a cannonball by a catapult.
  • Understand the relationship between a force applied to a cannonball and its velocity.
  • Understand the relationship between a force applied to a cannonball and the distance it travels.
  • Use the velocity calculated in the Unity editor to determine the acceleration of a cannonball at different points in its arc.
  • Adjust the mass of a cannonball and the force being used to launch it and understand the relationship between mass, force, and energy.
  • Understand the relationship between elastic potential energy and kinetic energy.
  • Understand the relationship between the kinetic energy involved in the launch of a cannonball and the gravitational potential energy that a cannonball gains as it travels higher.
  • Explain the relationship between the law of conservation of energy and the way a catapult launches a cannonball.
  • Use kinematic equations to find the acceleration of a ball as it launches from a catapult.
Topics we'll cover